Despite COVID, your faculty union UFF-UCF works for faculty! During 2020, it completed the negotiation of five MOUs, closed three reopener articles, and closed the salary article for 2020-2021. After a long stand-down the administration will offer a one-time payment to all our bargaining unit. UFF is the exclusive union to negotiate on faculty’s behalf.
After repeatedly taking no for an answer and being told there was no money, we are pleased to inform you that we have closed out Article 23 Salaries with a one time $1,200 payment. We have been praised time and time over this year about how the administration was pleased with our performance throughout the pandemic. Your union and your bargaining team is glad that UCF is acknowledging and thanking you all for the hard work you have done and continue to do during this emergency time.
I will follow this message up with next steps. Please continue to check your email for further updates.
President Cartwright and UCF Leadership Open Forum
Please don’t forget today (Friday-Dec. 4) at 3pm there is an open forum at UCF. You have the ability to ask questions of the President and the leadership team. You should have received the email with the links, if not email me and I can provide them.
At Florida Atlantic University the administration made faculty eligible to teach remotely who are 65 or older while we are still only accounting for people who are 70 or over. Since FAU adheres to the CDC age guidelines strictly, why can’t we at UCF?
I have asked this question and I am still waiting for an answer. If you would like an answer to this question considering submitting it for today’s open forum. You can do so below:
“Why does UCF adhere to some of the CDC guidelines for the spring return but not the age requirement? What does the UCF administration know about the people at and over the age of 70 the CDC does not?”
More Spring COVID policies around the SUS
“It doesn’t have to be this way” is the title of an article in the University of Florida student newspaper The Alligator. Only 78 people were granted permission to teach remotely out of 222 who applied. Here at UCF 311 people applied for a waiver to teach online and 271 were approved.
At Florida State University students are not returning until after the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
Work Stoppages and Strikes
United Faculty of Florida has asked me to share the following announcement I have posted on our webpage. Please read over their guidelines for “Penalties of Collective Work Stoppages, Strikes and “Sick Outs” in Florida.”
The Diversity and Inclusive Culture MOU
Don’t forget to vote on the ratification of the the Diversity and Inclusive Culture MOU. The Bargaining Team worked hard over the course of many months to finalize that MOU, please make their efforts worth it and vote. If you need directions for how to vote please reply to this email and I will send you the information. You have until Monday December 7 at 11:56pm to vote.
Have a safe and healthy break.
Starting on November 27 we will be voting to ratify the Diversity and Inclusive Culture MOU negotiated by the Bargaining Team. A link to that MOU is here [https://www.uffucf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/MOU-diversityInclusionsigned.pdf]. You will have from November 27th until December 7 to vote on this MOU. The vote will take place online as with previous recent ratifications. A link to the voting site will be sent out on November 27. Please be on the lookout for it.
All members of the Bargaining Unit are eligible to vote. The results of the ratification will be released by 5pm on December 9.
Greetings all, I have some updates to share with you.
Return to Campus News Coverage
A number of news outlets have covered our return to campus policies for spring. Some of these stories are behind paywalls unfortunately. On Tuesday Inside Higher Education published “Against Face-to-Face Teaching Mandates.” Yesterday the Chronicle of Higher Education published “Colleges Ask Professors to Return to the Classroom. Their Answer? That’s ‘Reckless’.” This story focuses on the University of Florida and state government. Today the Orlando Sentinel published “UCF faculty push back on plans to resume more in-person classes.”
UFF COVID Stories
United Faculty of Florida has set up a survey to collect “Unsafe Reopening & Covid-19 Pandemic” testimonials. Some of you have reached out to me with an interest in sharing your stories publicly, I would encourage you to check out the UFF site. http://myuff.org/covid-stories/
De-Certification of the Faculty Union at St. Leo
I want to bring your attention to the effort to decertify the UFF chapter at St. Leo University by their Board of Trustees. UFF has been working with the chapter that remains organized but not recognized. In these uncertain times of pandemic and economic uncertainty we need the strong presence of a union more than ever. Please consider checking out the Change.org petition sponsored by UFF and lend your support.
Robert Cassanello (he, him, his)
President, United Faculty of Florida at UCF
The following message was sent to the bargaining unit:
I wanted to send you this quick update. It has been brought to my attention that pregnancy is now listed by the CDC as “at increased risk.” I understand this was just added this week. As such if you are pregnant or a household member is pregnant then please type that in somewhere in Section II of the form where your/household member’s health care provider would verify such an item. If you have already filled the form out and were rejected or you have not because it wasn’t an “at increased risk” category at the time you completed the form please do so now.
All this is very new and the form still has a deadline for this Friday November 6th.
We wanted to update everyone in the Bargaining Unit. While we have requested a meeting with Interim Provost Mike Johnson to discuss our concerns about the spring return to campus policies, we have yet to hear from him. We have heard from many of you about your personal concerns and the anxiety these revised policies have had on members of the Bargaining Unit.
Because we consider the proposed new process to create unsafe working conditions for a substantial number of employees, we have filed a Chapter Grievance alleging that UCF is in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). We will withdraw this grievance filed on your behalf should the UCF administration, in a timely manner, rescind and revise these policies with faculty feedback, with consideration of CDC guidelines and scientific evidence, and without violation of the CBA.
We ask the administration – to take seriously the significant health risks during the ongoing pandemic and what these risks mean for all employees and their loved ones. We understand the ground is continually shifting because the objectives of state lawmakers and those of the universities are at times at odds. We nonetheless hope that at this critical moment UCF administration will listen to the faculty and act with the wellbeing of all of us in mind.
Grievance Chair, UFF-UCF